I always get nervous before I speak to a group of people about open adoption. I'm not sure why, but I'm always afraid that I'll blank out and forget the rest of the story. I have this incredible fear that I'll be talking and suddenly I won't be able to remember what happened next. It's silly, since I actually lived my experience, but nonetheless, something that makes me really nervous and anxious.
I've learned that prayer has an amazing power to calm fears. I prayed yesterday that God would help me to find the exact words to say to get the point across about open adoption--and He did! The Lord has shown me time and time again that He is always good and that He is in always control. I can only leave it up to Him to guide me in educating others about open adoption. Blogging is easy for me. I just isolate myself with a computer and a cup of coffee and words just start coming out. Public speaking is different because all eyes are on you, and you have to speak about your sins and mistakes to a group of complete strangers. "Hi guys, I got pregnant out of wedlock five years ago" isn't really the best way to start a speech. Although it would be pretty funny if I did. Last night was the first time that I feel as if my story flowed logically and naturally. I wasn't nervous after I began, and the audience was intrigued and very interested. I got lots of great questions and I even remembered to bring my gigantic book of pictures from the day Deanna was born up until present day Deanna Dollar. I felt the presence of the Lord, and it was awesome.
I really enjoy speaking to people in a small, intimate setting like the high school class at Broughton and the adults at Stephen Ministry. I like to simply sit in a chair, surrounded by my audience, and just speak from the heart. I run into trouble when I'm given a microphone and a large audience that expects me to stand up. A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a personal testimony about my experience with open adoption after a pro-life play in Cary. I stood up with the microphone and looked out at a sea of about 200 faces staring at me. Yikes! Let me go home now! Have you ever had a word vomit? You know, when words just start coming out and you can't stop them? That's what happened to me. I can't remember exactly what I said, but I remember feeling very faint and light-headed. What I actually said was probably somewhere along the lines of, "I..errrr...uuuuhhh, hhhh...hhhhh...hhhhheeeelllo. Welcome welcome welcome welcome!" I do remember that I forgot to mention what Robbie and I are doing now, the fact that I have started a birthmom blog, and some pretty major details of our story. I think the audience got the point, but this whole personal testimony thing has just been a huge learning experience for me. I'm still learning how to let go of my fears and to stop worrying about making everything perfect. Yes, I'm still a recovering perfectionist.
I'm thinking of starting a program for high school students to educate them about the consequences of teen sex. I loved the class of high school students I spoke to at Broughton, and it has really inspired me to think of new ways to reach out to young people. I want it to be different than just standing up and telling my story, though. I want it to be unique, memorable, and more than someone coming to tell students, "don't do this!" A video would be awesome, but I'd need some help.
Anyone have any good ideas?
Pictures from the State game this weekend:
You've gotta love the Family Circus classics...